Northeast South Dakota
The day which almost wasn't. Great directional shear but an awful
time getting instability going due to persistent cloud cover along and
south of the warm front. Initial target was Redfield, SD. After
hanging out at the local DQ for a bit, a cell developed a little west
towards Orient, SD. After convincing Joel Lampe and Mark Eaves
who were with me we should head that direction for some "site
seeing" closer to the river, the rest of the day was interesting to say
the least. In addition to Mark and Joel, my good friend Eric Whitehill
and Robert Hahn from KVLY met up with us also as we headed west.
Watching the cell develop from about 10 miles west of Orient, SD. The base was really elongated and the east side
was very shelfy looking for a long time. We decided to head a little south yet as the precip core was moving almost
due north to we could see the updraft area a little better.
|Multi shot pano looking west. Very outflowish looking but notice that area to the right of the tree?
|The edges of the shelf/outflow area were seriously twisting on a horizontal plane...likely attributed to the strong
helicities good low level shear.
|Looking southwest at obvious outflow or linear interface area.
No change after several minutes. The base was still super elongated with the precip core well removed to the north of
the updraft area.
The updraft area was starting to pull in scud from the north but it was too far from the precip to develop a nice lowering or
wall cloud at this time.
I decided to head north on 212 then north again on CR45 to CR20 west of Cresbard, SD about 7 miles. As the cell started
to interact with the warm front and even stronger shear, things rapidly became more interesting as more traditional
lowering developed and an obvious rear flank downdraft was present.
A wider view of the cell. Messy still, but getting it's act together. At this time we noted some convergence of the rain
curtains around the lowering.
5:25pm looking S/SW. The first obvious ground circulation we observed. Broad and weak but areas would quickly
condense under the lowering as the RFD works it's way around. This feature is now rapidly moving directly at us.
5:26pm Robert notices this feature off to the west. It quickly becomes wrapped. Turns out this was a separate ground
circulation which would produce EF0 damage when it crossed CR20 west of our position. Skip Talbot ended up with a
really good view.
Back to the area we were interested in. By now this meso wildly rotating with the edge in front of us screaming form
southeast to northwest.
|5:29pm funnel developing on the southeastern edge as the cell still spins like a top.
5:30pm. I would say this feature was down at this time. The circulation was weak but rain curtains made it apparent. We had to
move east quickly as 16mm it was a lot closer than the image makes it look.
|5:34pm. The weak tornado about to cross the road about 1/4 to our west. That is Eric and Robert in the Durango behind us.
|5:35pm. Note the white on the road just behind the funnel. As fast as this was moving north the ground circulation was having a
hard time keeping up. Still sounded good though with a good rushing water sound. Also coo this was Robert's first tornado!
A couple of not so great video grabs the tornado as it was roping out. We had to move east again after it crossed the road due to the shelter
belt blocking our view. Tanner Shaaf and Nick Elms/Amanada Hill have much better video of this event.
After playing cat and mouse the strong rain wrapped couplet, we reached highway 12 just west of Ipswich, SD. Crazy horseshoe
cut into the meso still. The storm would produce one more tornado, an EF1 4 miles northeast of Ipswich but we never saw it.
|Blowing dirt to end the day.
|A couple of radar grabs from this day. The first is as the tornado was forming and the second of the rain wrapped couplet